The Transylvania Times -

Blue Devils All Business As They Travel To Face Patriots - Brevard, NC


September 7, 2017

Much like the death of a childhood pet or a first romance that ended in heartbreak, Brevard football fans will never forget last year’s game against Madison for all the wrong reasons.

On that fateful September night, the Patriots went from fourth-and-20 from their own 32 with just 22 seconds to play to completing a last-second 28-yard touchdown pass to steal a 47-44 victory.

Such a stinging loss might be an incentive for revenge, but head coach Craig Pritchett said his team isn’t focused so much on payback as they are on playing their game and moving to 3-1 on the year.

“We’ll mention to the guys the need to take care of business and not leaving the game to be decided on the last play, but I don’t think there’s a big revenge factor for our kids. I think they’re focused on the next game and the goals we’ve set for this season. It would be a big win if we could go over to Madison and come away with the win,” he said.

The Patriots (2-1) brings a run-heavy attack to the table, which is something Brevard has seen this year after games against Mountain Heritage and Draughn.

Pritchett said Madison’s style is a little different, as they run a spread system, but he is confident in how his run defense stacks up.

“Madison is big up front and they’ve got a big running back that they mix with a smaller guy that brings some speed. So, it will be a challenge for us,” he said.

The Patriot rushing attack features Ty Snelson – 6’2”, 235 pounds – and Elan Littrell, a speedy 5’8”, 155 pound back.

Add that to quarterback Clark Gray, who is averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground, and the Blue Devil defense will have to come ready to play.

While Madison puts up a lot of points, they surrender nearly as many. Through three games they’ve out-scored opponents 140-92.

Brevard’s offense is averaging 28 points per game and has shown the type of balance that Pritchett likes to see.

Quarterback Mitchell Johnson has performed well in his role as starter, showing his ability to make plays with his arm and his legs.

Pritchett said Johnson’s play has been a pleasant surprise, although he never doubted his skills, rather he is simply impressed with his fast development.

“All along, I’ve know that once Mitchell got his confidence that he has the potential to be a playmaker for us. He’s been building that confidence each game and getting more and more comfortable with the offense,” he said.

Pritchett added that his emphasis for any quarterback is to take care of the football and Johnson has avoided big mistakes, throwing only one interception all season.

While Johnson and the offense have been operating efficiently, Pritchett said he would rather not see the game turn into a shootout, like most of the games involving the Patriots have this year.

“This year, our strength is our defense, and that being said, you want a low-scoring game. We’ve been able to have a few offensive fireworks the last few games, but as a defensive-minded coach I prefer those low-scoring games,” he said.

Looking down the road, Brevard (2-1) is in position to put together a strong record going into conference play with winnable games against Owen, Chase and East Henderson in the coming weeks.

Pritchett said while there are always aspects that a head coach wants to improve on, he likes what his team has done so far this year and looks forward to even more growth.

“I think the consistency and our pass defense is something we’ll have to focus on before we start playing some of the pass-happy teams. Special teams, I’d like to see some more explosive plays. We’ve got a young team and with each week they’re honing their skills and fixing the little things. But overall, I’m pretty pleased,” Pritchett said.


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